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United Economic Development Fund developed a public-facing Grievance Atonement Mechanism (GAM) for UEDF to seek to do no harm with our investment and developed robust environmental and social risk identification and mitigation policies, procedures, and strategies to reduce harm.


We understand that our work has a significant impact on marginalized and vulnerable communities, and therefore, we have a responsibility to heed the concerns of the communities we serve. To facilitate stakeholder engagement, UEDF has developed the GAM tool to address issues affecting their communities and livelihoods. Our GAM process is based on Acumen's Environmental and Social Policy for UEDF-Funded Projects, the Ruggie Principles, and UEDF's Independent Atonement Mechanism to ensure that stakeholders can access it easily and have a fair, transparent, and equitable process. We believe that a strong GRM framework demonstrates our commitment to community input, safety, and trust, thereby enhancing our impact.

The GAM will be provided to parties who have complaints arising from the implementation of UEDF allocated projects. These complaints may relate to various issues, including but not limited to environmental, social, community health, safety, and security concerns, gender bias, harassment, labor, compensation, and issues arising from interactions between the labor workforce and host communities, as well as resettlement-related grievances such as asset valuation, compensation amount, level of consultation, non-fulfillment of contracts, and timing of compensation.

However, grievances will not be considered eligible if they are submitted two years after the UEDF funded project or program has been closed or two years after the complainant became aware of the negative impacts caused by a UEDF funded project or program.

  1. A complaint is received (via website, phone call, email, fax, or mail).
  2. The complaint is recorded in UEDF’s Grievance Atonement Mechanism Tracker and the complainant is notified of receipt and informed of next steps.
  3. Involved parties are informed (an initial assessment may be required to understand who the involved parties are). On occasion, an involved party, particularly the complainant, may be informed later in the assessment phase, to preserve information and review baseline facts before notice.
  4. The complaint is assessed by UEDF’s General Counsel as it is made. This may involve interviewing additional parties to collect more information or bringing in third parties to support the investigation and assessment. The investigation is conducted by someone independent of the program execution (i.e., not the ESG Manager, since responsible for E&S program management). The complainant is notified when the investigation ends.
  5. A response/resolution is decided on by the policy administrator, generally, UEDF’s President, where a formal complaint is made under the Code of Ethics, or where not, by UEDF’s General Counsel, or other decision bodies named under specific policies. The decision is made by someone independent of the program execution (i.e., not the ESG Manager, since responsible for E&S program management).
  6. The response is communicated to the complaining party (where possible) and to any involved parties.
  7. Resolution is recorded in our Grievance tracking mechanism.
  8. Any lessons are applied internally as appropriate (e.g., updating policies or processes).

The Grievance Atonement Mechanism is investigated by our General Council and the Executing Entities. If there is a conflict of interest, UEDF’s General Counsel will investigate grievances without Executing Entity involvement. UEDF’s General Counsel is an experienced mediator and has extensive experience in conflict resolution. Our General Counsel is an independent investigator that is not involved in investment decision-making, day-to-day operations, or other interactions that interfere with the project-level team. The General Counsel does provide legal support and negotiates with investors on behalf of UEDF-funded project teams. The General Counsel seeks to ensure that UEDF staff with potential conflicts of interest (like UEDF’s ESG Manager) are not privy to GAM investigations. UEDF’s General Counsel will also recuse themselves from investigations when a potential conflict of interest may arise.

UEDF aspires to make any effort to report a grievance easily accessible through a variety of communication channels. UEDF believes that any stakeholder who has a legitimate grievance should be able to access UEDF’s Grievance Atonement Mechanism via the communication style that best fits their needs. We seek to ensure that grievances can be shared by any population including youth, women, and marginalized and vulnerable populations like indigenous populations. We also seek to ensure that lodging grievances does not harm the populations that may participate by ensuring anonymity if the complainant requests anonymity or we believe that identification could lead to harm, intimidation, or fear. The following methods of communication are available for lodging a grievance:


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Complaint form (#68)

Please fill out the following form with your complaint. We will review your request and follow up with you as soon as possible.

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